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The loss and gains

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I having a beer with a good friend tonight. We had both worked insane hours over the holidays and we were talking about how we just want to catch up our sleep. Then I looked around. It was a high end pub and mostly suits. I wondered to myself if they had sacrificed as much as we had for our careers. I don't want to go into detail about the things that I have lost due to my profession because that'snot my style. I like to focus on what I have gained. But I want to hear what you say. What is your greatest loss and your greatest gain in bein a chef?
My greatest loss: Always being on the outskirts of society. I never move with them in their holidays and hours, passion. For that I will never really be in with the norm.
My greatest gain: I can be obsessed with something that has always defined a culture. Everything I do, read, watch, learn has something to do with food. I am O.K with that, in fact, I feel very fortunate to have found that.

Just curious, maybe help me bring a couple of things to light.
post #2 of 9
The financial losses due to prevailing industry wages hurts.
No retirement. No 401k. No sick leave.
Since I got into the biz, this will be the first year I get a weeks paid vacation. As a cook, I never got medical, only when I became a sous/manager at my current job.

It's not about the money. Though I wish it weer easier to balance the accounts at the end of the month. I've come to terms with the notion that retirement is out and the end of my kitchen career and the end of my life will be two tightly spaced events.

As to being on the fringe of society, I'm down with that. Suits me to a tee. I fit in here.:smoking:
post #3 of 9
Can I ask what you mean by the above statement? I'm not in your industry, but would love to learn.
post #4 of 9
It ALL pays off for me.....I had a lot of really fun WILD (not gonna get into detail) nights after work, while my friends that were in school or lawyers were in bed for the 7am arrival. I didn't have to be in until 11am and stay til 1am, then the next day did it all over again.

When I grew up and wanted to change, I changed my role and took on more responsibility and in a sense worked harder, just less physically.

I think everyone pays their dues. I wouldn't sit behind a desk for 9 hours a day for all the money in the world. I know that I will never starve and anywhere in the world that I want to be, I will have work. What a great life!!!! :smiles:
" Never fry bacon naked!"

" Never fry bacon naked!"

post #5 of 9
I'm still young but one thing that I have lost would be my first girlfriend. I just had no time for her due to being in culinary school for six hours a day and then going to work for an eight hour shift. Things just didn't work out. I'm very young in my career and I know I still have alot to learn. The gains...well everyday I learn something new, and I love watching eyes light up when they lay eyes on the beautiful dishes.
post #6 of 9
You kinda live in a little subculture. All your friends are industry people. You party with them, go out to eat with them, even cook at home with them. Weird, but that's the only life you know. You even go to food shows to relax.

You don't really have a family life outside your own. You're working all the holidays, you never get the "two weeks a year" vacation everyone else gets, and you're kinda too darn poor to afford Disneyworld. When you do get together with family everyone takes you for granted that you'll be the one doing the cooking.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ya, that's about it but to be honest, there's nothing like sitting down with someone who really knows there stuff and talking food all night. Also, everyone is scared to cook for you because they are concerned about what you might think. The only person I know that tries new stuff out on me is my mom, but she's funny because even when I try to teach her something, she really believes her way is the best way and not this Escoffier guy. Makes me laugh, she's a true chef at heart.
The thing that gets me though is that people know this job is tough and long hours, then there's all these people that go to school and when they get into the real industry, they seemed surprised by the hours and intense working conditions. I just don't get it. The other day I was trying this kid out and his eight hours had passed and he told me, didn't ask me, that he was taking a break because by law he is allowed one. I understand that there are laws, but they don't apply to us, not if you want to succeed. I told him it was alright because he was done for the night and I would phone him when I needed him. I didn't call.
I never minded the hours and the stress never really got to me. Now I can determine my own hours, but now I am the boss and I use to think that come Christmas time that I would shut down for two weeks. Ya right, and loose out on all that money. But I do shut down for three weeks in 5 days and I am going to Italy, so eventually, it pays off. But friends will always be my collegues and peers and I will always do nothing but think of food and I will always be working the holidays and I will always be putting in the 15 hour days. I'm fine with that, I guess being "normal" never really mattered to me. Couldn't pull it off anyways.
post #8 of 9
amen brother:roll:
"what doesn't destroy me, makes me stronger"
"what doesn't destroy me, makes me stronger"
post #9 of 9
Greatest loss? Friends. Too many of them. Never really even had a chance to meet many women, was always at work or at home recovering. Another great loss - my sanity. Between working all the time, getting @#$%ed up and partying all the time, I lost it. Had to take 3 months off completely to recover, and am just beginning to get my life on track. Also didn't help that during my apprenticeship in some top restaurants, I also had alot of trouble with the law, a few buddies died, many more ended up in jail, as I nearly did.

Greatest gain? Skills, knowledge. I can work anywhere I want to, I'll never have to worry about unemployment. I also eat better now than I ever did before I cooked, better than I ever imagined, especially when I was living in the housing project...
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